The Game of Adversity

Nick DiNardo

We’re too comfortable. Growing up, we’re all taught that the best situation is the one where everything goes according to plan. Adversity is something to be avoided or, at the very least, tolerated.

This book is here to tell you the opposite.

Adversity is the ultimate opportunity to learn and grow. In fact, it’s the key to unlocking success, if only we can learn to embrace it and apply its lessons constructively. By diving into the stories of some of the greatest athletes, coaches, and sports figures of all time, this book will explore the common thread that brings them all together: using hardship as fuel to unlock opportunity.

By breaking down the eight characteristics that we need to cultivate to make the most of adversity, this book will be your guide in leveraging your challenges into the critical life skills necessary to thrive.

Press & Praise

Lewis Howes, Founder and Podcast Host at The School of Greatness and USA Team Handball Athlete

"Peak performance in sports is all about using adversity to your advantage. Nick illustrates this perfectly in this book. If you make excuses, or you feel sorry about yourself, read this book. It's your cure."

Dr. Jim Afremow, renowned sports psychologist and author of The Champion's Mind

"The Game of Adversity is a superb book. Author Nick DiNardo offers an intelligent approach and a challenging model that we can all use to handle distress and difficulties. Once you learn how to play the adversity game, you'll be the winner of it."

David Burkus, author of The Myths of Creativity

"Blending research with his own experience (and some awesome examples from great movies), Nick DiNardo proves that set backs push us forward and outlines how to leverage adversity to get stronger and be better."

Nick DiNardo

Nick DiNardo is an entrepreneur, consultant and public speaker focused on adversity, personal growth and education. Throughout his career he has interviewed hundreds of experts on overcoming adversity, dealing with trauma and stress, and the crucial role that this plays in our cognitive development and education.

Nick has dealt with adversity his entire life. After his parents separated when he was seven years old, Nick went from living the American Dream to sleeping on the floor of a one room apartment and sharing a kitchen with 17 people. He managed to earn a football scholarship to Wesleyan University (CT) and ruptured the tendons in his knee in his senior year. He has started multiple companies, most of which failed.

Time and time again he faced adversity–and continued to grow as a result. It is these lessons that led Nick to write The Game of Adversity, which distills cutting-edge psychological research as well as wisdom from Seneca, Viktor Frankl and Vince Lombardi, and turns it into actionable advice.

Nick is the producer and host of two podcasts: the Meet Education Project and the Sweet Adversity Podcast. He writes more about adversity and personal growth at He lives in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, with his wife Sarah.

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